Saturday, October 20, 2012

Vulcain and the Presidents in 3 Parts

Well, as they say, the third time is the charm!

As it is Presidential season here in the US, I thought I'd share some Vulcain watch history.

So let's clear some facts:

Part 1 - The Vulcain was for sometime given as a gift to US Presidents and Vice Presidents.  For example, Richard Nixon got his Vulcain Cricket while he was Vice President in 1955. He received his Cricket from the National Association of Watch and Clock Makers.  He was in very good company.  
It has been worn by Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Harry S. Truman, Lyndon B. Johnson.  

PART 2 -  is for me, where it gets really interesting.  PART 2 is when Vulcain is dormant, a victim of the Quartz Crisis.  The company - at least its name - is held by the people behind Revue Thomen, and most particularly it was Michel Ditisheim and the Paajanen of Helsinki, Finland who really kept the Vulcain Cricket alive.  The Paajanen's hold a special place in their heart for America - and to that end they arranged to produce a limited number of Vulcain Crickets to present to US Presidents and Vice Presidents when/if they should ever visit Finland.  Now keep in mind, they are selling very few Vulcain Crickets - they do this out of a sense of connection to the US - their family had fled the advancing Soviet army and they have always viewed the US as their friends.  And by the way - it is really nice for the US to have friends like the Paajanens!

Gerald Forld, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan among others.  And most recently Vice President Biden have all received a Vulcain Cricket from the Paajanens.
Keijo Paajanen with Gerald Ford
Keijo Paajanen with Jimmy Carter
A thank you letter from Ronald Reagan

Part 3 - This is the "now time".  I believe that President Obama received a Vulcain from the new ownership of Vulcain, and my hope is that this tradition continues.  But as we often say in the world of foreign affairs - it is about winning "hearts and minds".  The Paajanens have won my heart and mind.  This is a family motivated by nothing but good will.  I truly wish there were more people like them.

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